Tide Feeling Sick

Some members of the Alabama basketball team are feeling a little sick as the squad prepares to face Arkansas Wednesday night at 7 p.m.

At his weekly press conference Alabama Head Coach Mark Gottfried said starting forward Chuck Davis and reserve Justin Jonus were both feeling ill Monday and would not practice.

"Justin will not practice today and we'll find out a little bit later this afternoon if he has some type of virus or what. His situation is unknown as to what he has. Chuck has the flu, I know that. We're a little shorthanded today," Gottfried said.

Gottfried doesn't expect Davis to practice on Tuesday in order for him to be rested for Wednesday night's game which will be televised by Jefferson Pilot.

"It would really change things for us without Chuck," Gottfried said. "Chuck has been a key part in what we're doing in every phase of the game. We're obviously hoping he'll make a recovery Wednesday night, but we'll practice without him for the next couple of days."

Gottfried said, "I don't know that yet," when asked what the plan would be if Davis was not able to play Wednesday. Davis' absence would almost definitely result in a smaller lineup with more playing time for reserves Evan Brock and Jean Felix, both of whom have seen an increased role in games of late.

"Jean Felix is like most junior college players on our level. It takes time to get comfortable and adjust. He's playing the game a lot more efficiently than he did earlier on. I think he's going to increase his minutes as we go," Gottfried said.

Shawn Taylor, who played just three minutes against Mississippi is also a back-up to Davis.

Alabama enters the game 19-4 overall and 8-2 in Southeastern Conference play. Arkansas beat LSU Saturday improving to 17-7 overall and 5-6 in the SEC.

Gottfried also indicated that freshman guard Al Weber had not returned to the squad. Weber was absent from Saturday night's game against Mississippi what Gottfried deemed personal reasons.

"Al Weber is taking short leave of absence and has gone home. He's got some family and personal issues he has to attend to and we going see what happens from there," Gottfried said after the game Saturday.

Monday when asked if his status had changed Gottfried said, "No."

Weber served as the only back-up point guard to Ronald Steele after the departure of Glen Miles and walk-on LaKory Daniels from the team.

"I was comfortable the other night," Gottfried said. "We played Kennedy (Winston), Earnest (Shelton) and Justin together and kind of played that position by committee. Ron Steele does need to rest, he's not a 40 minute a game guy."

Arkansas has one of the league's top scorers in guard Ronnie Brewer, averaging over 16 points per game, and an experienced off guard in Jonathon  Modica.

"I think the coaches in the SEC respect Modica a lot. I know I certainly do. Right now he's playing at a high level. Right now I think he's one of the better off guards we have playing in the SEC," Gottfried said. "Ronnie Brewer is one of the best players in the league, Modica is certainly one of the best and they have a freshman post player who may be one of the best in the conference as well Darian Townes."

Townes had 14 points and nine rebounds against LSU.

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